Regarding commuting and giving up seat for pregnant women

(103 Posts)
Cherryontop99 Tue 20-Nov-12 08:32:52

If someone is clearly elderly / pregnant / on crutches or something then of course I will offer them my seat.

This morning there was a woman who I am not sure if she was pregnant or just a little chubby round the middle. Hard to tell as she was wearing lots of layers with it being winter. She wasn't wearing a 'baby onboard' badge or anything which a lot of people do in London.

In this situation AIBU to just not offer seat and assume that if they need a seat they will ask? Just don't want to risk offending anyone by suggesting they are pregnant when actually just a bit chubby.

samandi Tue 20-Nov-12 08:50:56

YANBU to not offer your seat. Obviously if they ask and are pregnant it would be polite to, but I agree about it being difficult to tell and not wanting to cause offence.

annabeldp Tue 20-Nov-12 08:52:16

I don't think YABU, when I was pregnant I would always ask for a seat if I wanted/needed one (I didn't always), and someone hadn't offered. But I have also on several occasions been offered a seat when not pregnant, and would usually politely decline saying I was only going a couple of stops, I might sometimes accept it if I was feeling a bit lazy. The last thing I would want to do is put people off offering a seat by going crazy.

But its a total minefield, I know men who refuse to sit down for fear they might have to decide whether to give up their seat or not

Cherryontop99 Tue 20-Nov-12 09:03:25

Yes minefield indeed. Some women get annoyed if no one offers a seat. Sometimes I don't notice if a pregnant woman gets on though as I am engrossed in my book! But if they ask they can always have my seat grin

dinkystinky Tue 20-Nov-12 09:04:28

I had to ask for a seat this morning as I was feeling dizzy and faint in an overpacked tube that had been held at the station for 10 minutes - the nice man I asked very kindly gave it up rather than risk me collapsing in the tube. I think most pregnant women - or even non-pregnant but feeling ill people - ask if they need one and it hasnt been offered.

quietlysuggests Tue 20-Nov-12 09:07:20

whats a baby on board badge? Is that a thing?

I spent 3 hours at the hospital anti natal clinic yesterday without being offered a seat.

Frontpaw Tue 20-Nov-12 09:12:20

I was never offered a seat when pregnant. In fact I was once barged out of the way on a busy bus by a woman to get to a seat. I was hugely round by then and very obviously carrying an elephant.

I was once offered a seat by a pregnant woman once (I wasnt pregnant) when I was about to pass out on the tube! I declined.

Cherryontop99 Tue 20-Nov-12 09:12:42

Baby onboard badges are given out by London Underground to pregnant women

HappyAsASandboy Tue 20-Nov-12 09:22:32

YANBU. I think in London, a baby on board badge is the standard way of signalling you'd like space/a seat/not to be barged in to. If they were only chubbily pregnant, then a badge sorts out all the misunderstandings nicely smile

I will never forget the time I got on a tube when 8 months pregnant with twins (and so the size of a bus, which is quite big in a tube!). I stood in the corridor down the middle of the seats, belly to belly with a woman not much less pregnant than me, while 'oblivious' book-readers ignored us. TBH I didn't need a seat, but it did seem to push the 'I didn't notice' excuse to the limit when there were two of us like bookends, belly to belly and taking up most of the carriage! Was summertime too, so no bulky coats etc. One of my lasting pregnancy memories grin

tjah04 Tue 20-Nov-12 09:34:00

YANBU. I know some women who think the baby on board badge is silly but it does sort out a lot of problems, especially if a mistake can be made.

I have a friend who has severe problems with her legs and standing for a period of time can be painful . I remember 3 years back we were commuting to work and I was standing talking to my friend. A pregnant lady got on and stood next to me. Next thing you know she made a very rude comment to my friend who felt very embarrased as a book reader looked up and offered his seat whilst also making a comment about my friend. I was horrified and felt the need to point this out which embarrased my friend even more.

This changed my attitude and I do feel now that if you are not wearing a badge then you may not be offered a seat.

mycatlikestwiglets Tue 20-Nov-12 09:52:29

YANBU. If someone is obviously pregnant or has a badge then I would always offer them a seat (although not all pregnant women feel the need to sit down). However, imo someone who hasn't been offered one should just ask if they want one. I always did that, particularly if the tube was particularly busy as I was worried about people falling on me. No one ever refuses if you ask imo.

What was that that Jimmy Carr said...? "I'd rather see a pregnant woman standing than a fat woman crying".

You are not being unreasonable. I think most women now on public transport (particuially in the cities) would know to wear a baby on board badge.

UsedToBeAContender Tue 20-Nov-12 09:55:23

I once got tutted at by a tosser commuter on the tube because my enormous pregnant tummy was touching his newspaper making it difficult for him to turn the page.

Then the train stopped suddenly and I stumbled and accidentally stamped on his foot! Karma gets us all....grin

My tip is to make eye contact and smile. If she needs it, she will feel able to ask.

The Metrolink in Manchester is very wobbly. It isn't safe for anyone with reduced balance (including children and bumps) to stand. I took scarily hard bashes to my bump with both DCs. If I offer a bump a seat it is for the unborn baby's sake.

That said, I once passed out on said tram and still wasn't offered a seat. People asked if I was ok (I am on the floor with a gigantic 8m bump and tears running down my face, what do you reckon?) but no seat.

FlatFacedArmy Tue 20-Nov-12 10:04:18

I loved being pregnant this summer. I never had trouble getting a seat on the train or bus, and even in the early days when my belly could have been just a food-baby I was offered a seat! I never declined it because I was always thankful for the good manners of whoever was giving it up and I didn't want to put them off offering again in the future.

And during the Olympics all the nice people in pink shirts would beckon me through shortcuts, hold barriers open for me and ensure that I was at the front of the platform at the right position to get on the trains first. I felt like a VIP!

Some fuckwit wrote into the paper this week saying "if you can do a day's work you can stand".

Yeah, because sitting at a desk is the same as standing for half an hour on a moving platform.

I'm nearly 9 months pg and always offered a seat on the tube, even from 6 months. I didn't really mind standing but as soon as I get on someone always gets up for me, there are very kind people out there. One was a woman who was in her 60s and I declined as I felt fine. Another time a really rough looking builder bloke jumped up for me smile

Wow, 5 kids and I've never heard of "baby on board" badges

YANBU btw

rainbow2000 Tue 20-Nov-12 10:17:39

Yes the hospital where loads of men sit and dont offer you a seat.We used to have a great nurse that would come out and shame all the non pregnant women in to giving up their seats.
I used to get offerd seats on the bus but my bugbear is people not helping women on with prams especially if they have other children.

Yes rainbow there was loads of them. Lots of us were there for gtt so hadn't been able to eat anything from 12 the night before, this was at 11am.

Was surprised at how many people's oh were sat eating too, even though their partners hadn't eaten for at least 11 hours. Dp couldn't make the appointment but if he'd sat there eating while I was bloody starving I think I'd have bitten him! However I am a little irrational when hungry at the moment

littleladyindoors Tue 20-Nov-12 11:14:57

YANBU, I would ask if I really needed to sit down, actually I dont think I would, in case people would look at me funny or think I was being presumptious!!!! But Im a scaredy cat
Im not normally going many stops on the tube, so it doesnt really bother me, it has bothered me when a colleague (who knows Im pregnant and not just chubby) sat down in the last seat and let me stand. which was nice.

I find the worst ones are at the Drs. I went for a midwife check, same waiting room as the blood test area, and it was very busy, they let me stand whilst they all sat. And I dont mind if you are elderly or infirm, you need that seat more than me, but the people you are with dont!! My husband always stands when I sit, so others can have a seat.

What precise wording do people use? Do you target a friendly-looking person, or the person you judge to be most able to stand? Or address the carriage at large?

I think I am too British for this!

slhilly Tue 20-Nov-12 11:30:14

Address the carriage at large. Say in a clear voice: "I'm pregnant. Could someone let me sit down please" A part of British-ness used to be gallantry - helping those who needed it. So think of what you're doing as giving people an opportunity to connect with their Britishness by being gallant...

Jusfloatingby Tue 20-Nov-12 11:34:09

Yes the hospital where loads of men sit and dont offer you a seat.We used to have a great nurse that would come out and shame all the non pregnant women in to giving up their seats. QUOTE

That doesn't seem very fair. If they were attending a hospital presumably they had health problems too eg fibroids, prolapsed wombs which would make standing very tiring and uncomfortable.

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